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Alpha Therm unit installed - Heated w/w fluid returns!


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As some may remember from another post, GM removed my heated windshield washer fluid module due to a recall of the Microheat unit supplied as original equipment. During that post Texas Jim pointed out the availability of a redesigned unit being sold by Alpha Therm:

http://www.alphathermusa.com/index.html My unit was the AT-37 GM + Fuse.

Since GM paid me $100.00 for the loss of that option, and after doing the math, I decided to purchase the new unit. I highly recommend this product for anyone that wishes to upgrade or return their car to original factory condition. The total cost of the unit ended up being $81.40, which included the 60 amp fuse that GM removed, as well as shipping to my door. The unit arrived promptly via UPS yesterday, and was installed that evening. Alpha Therm recieved my order on Tuesday, and it was in my hands on Thursday afternoon...now THAT'S service.

My dealership did their normal unprofessional job of removing the old unit, basically clipping off the wires, wrapping a little electrical tape around them and letting them hang. It didn't give me a great deal of confidence seeing two heavy gauge (60 amp circuit) tied together with tape and hanging under the hood, even if they did remove the fuse. Same story on the control wiring.

The installation of the new unit was real straight forward, even though it was very tight working in that small space. The instructions were simple and the total time of the installation was under 1 hour. There was one issue with the unit, which was reconnecting the outlet fitting to the original GM plastic washer tubing. Even though Alpha therm provides (way too much) replacement tubing, I wanted the unit to be as close to stock appearance as possible. I used a short section (about 4") of the new tubing to go from the outlet of the heater to the piece of rubber tubing that GM has glued to the plastic line. The tubing fit on the units' connection perfectly, but the barbed adapter provided by Alpha Therm was too small to provide a water tight fit with the rubber connector attached to the plastic washer line. I solved this by using silicone adhesive on the outside of the new rubber line and inserting it completely inside the original tubing. The finished look is perfect and the connection watertight. I would suggest anyone wishing to do this installation get a reducing adapter from their local auto parts store, probably available on those "HELP!" cards.

The electrical connections were perfect and plugged directly into the original wiring. The wiring connectors even included a place for the mounting tabs so the connections wouldn't rattle or chaffe when in place.

The new unit works exactly the same as the original factory unit. A single press of the activation switch displays "Heated Washes Pending" on the DIC, then a few seconds later the sprays begin on their own.....four complete cycles with a short pause between to reheat the fluid.

Thanks again Texas Jim for the tip, my Caddy is back to original condition!

Never underestimate the amount of a persons greed.

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JohnnyG, Thanks for the write-up. I am considering adding one of those units to my '05 Deville. They make a universal unit that looks decent.

I wonder why GM didn't use this system for the recall rather than butcher the old system out???

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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I wonder why GM didn't use this system for the recall rather than butcher the old system out???

I think, in a word, "liability". Now GM has no skin in the game.

This seems like a well built unit, but only time will tell. We have to remember too that this all came about at a difficult time for carmakers. I doubt that GM had the luxury of staff and money to VALIDATE the system, a term we often heard from the guru. It seems to me also that the wiring connectors fit into the existing harness SO WELL, that GM or Delco had to have some involvement in producing the product, after all, you just don't get that kind of thing at WalMart.

This new unit comes with a 1 year warranty, BTW.

I also would agree that their universal heater SHOULD be a fine addition to any vehicle, but I have not looked at it in detail. If you look at their website, they go into great detail on the circuit board redesign and improvements employed. So I think they are really trying to produce a superior product.

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Never underestimate the amount of a persons greed.

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JohnnyG, Thanks for the write-up. I am considering adding one of those units to my '05 Deville. They make a universal unit that looks decent.

I wonder why GM didn't use this system for the recall rather than butcher the old system out???

I would suspect that they tried to do so, if the alternative was known to them when they were in a position to look at it - before they had to make a decision to comply with safety considerations. But, it's not as simple as that; a deal requires that lots of ducks all line up together: terms of sales to GM as an OEM GM product, testing and certification of delivered hardware, insertion of the new GM hardware into the supply chain and availability to dealers, certification with FTC and safety authorities, sign-on by indemnification entities by both parties, and sufficient time for legal scrutiny and final preparation of documentation, etc.

But I suspect that the price offered to GM made that alternative non-viable. It happens all the time. The most famous example was when GM asked Rover to sell them back rights to the famous all-aluminum BOP 3.5 litre V8 used in Buick, Olds and Pontiac models for the 1961-1963 model years and then sold to Rover-Triumph. After a long delay, Rover-Triumph offered to sell GM complete engines for about $5K apiece, which would make manufacturing costs for the total car far too high for them to be competitive in the marketplace. GM declined and instead aggressively pursued it's lead in V6 engines. An iron block 300 cid engine was used for a couple of years but the V6 engines prevailed eventually.

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
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-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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